Jacoby & Jacoby Articles How to Put an End to Wage Garnishments

How to Put an End to Wage Garnishments

By Jacoby & Jacoby  Mar. 21, 2011 12:55p

New York State is required to abide by federal laws that were established in order to prevent creditors from taking too much money from a debtor’s disposable income. Federal law limits the amount that a creditor can take from debtors weekly earnings to 25 percent of their net income or an amount equal to 30 times the minimum hourly wage-whichever amount is greater. All fifty states have to follow this federal law; however, no state is allowed to override a federal law by allowing a creditor to garnish more than 25 percent of the debtor’s disposable earnings. This formula applies only to consumer debt, or private debt; taxes and child support are handled differently and are subject to a higher garnishment.

New York State’s own garnishment laws are subject to limitations by federal laws; however the garnishment law specific to New York permits garnishment of either 10 percent of the person’s gross weekly income or 25 percent of his disposable weekly income, whichever is less. When a debtor is also having his wages garnished for child support or alimony, the total combined amount of garnishments cannot exceed 25 percent of the debtor’s disposable weekly income.

The debtor’s disposable income is what can be garnished, this is money earned after all deductions for social security, unemployment insurance and federal income taxes have been taken out. Once a judgment has been made within the court, the only recourse a debtor has on their own is to petition the court to adjust the amount of the garnishment if the reduction in pay seriously affects the debtor’s ability to support himself and his family.

How to Put a Stop to Wage Garnishments

Burying your head in the sand will not make a wage garnishment go away and quitting your job won’t solve the problem either. If your wages are being garnished, you are most likely having financial trouble in other areas as well. This might be the time for you to consider filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection against wage garnishment. Contact a Long Island bankruptcy attorney from Jacoby & Jacoby for more information about how bankruptcy might be able to help you.

Contact a Long Island bankruptcy attorney from our firm today for a free consultation.

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